Month: February 2019
said Van Jackson, a former Defense Department official in the Obama administration.
”Historically, there have been many — I know of half a dozen instances myself personally — where senior North Korean officials were brought around and shown what capi
talist industrialism looks like. They were shown what the stock market floor looks like on the New York Stock Exchange, or they were brought out to so
me tech lab in Silicon Valley,” said Jackson, author of “On the Brink: Trump, Kim, and the Threat of Nuclear War.”
”We’ve shown them what capitalism looks like … the idea that they will see something in Vietn
am physically that triggers something different than what we’ve shown them before is kind of non
sense.”There’s something for both Washington and Pyongyang to like when studying the US-Vietnam relationship.
For North Korea, it’s an example of a single-party communist country that reformed its economy without democr
atizing. For the United States, it’s an example of how to redefine a relationship and make a buck at the same time.
In 1995 — the year Hanoi and Washington normalized relations — US exports to and imports from Vietnam were
worth just $252 million and $199 million respectively. However in the first 11 months of 2018, the US exported more th
an $8 billion worth of goods to Vietnam and imported goods worth $45 billion, according to US Census figures.
Over the next four days, about 100,000 people in Barcelona are expected to traipse through the halls of Mobile Worl
d Congress, one of the tech industry’s biggest events. All the biggest players in the world use it to showcase new products.
One company really stands out this year: China’s Huawei. Walking
out of the Barcelona airport, there’s a Huawei hospitality stand. The company’s bran
ding dots the city. The lanyards conference attendees wear around their necks are decorated with the Huawei name.
There’s a good reason everyone is focused on Huawei, one of the world’s largest makers of telecom equipment.
Huawei is a crucial part of China’s efforts to advance superfast 5G wir
eless networks and today is caught in a life or death battle with the US government.
The United States claims that Huawei poses a potential national security threat. Last month, US prosecutors revealed cri
minal charges against the company, alleging that Huawei stole trade secrets and worked to skirt US sanctions on Iran.
”Giant pandas are China’s national treasures,” said Minister Xu Xueyuan, the Chinese embassy in the United States. “Although they are large in size, they are also charm
ing, tolerant, and peace-loving, representing many values of China itself, and are loved by people all over the world.”
”Giant pandas are also symbolic of the China-US friendship,” she told a ceremony at the giant panda house.
The housewarming was jointly hosted by the zoo and the Chinese embassy.
Giant pandas live mainly in southwest China’s Sichuan Province as well as neighboring Shaanxi and Gansu.
The latest census in 2014 found there were 1,864 giant pandas alive in the wild. The number of pand
as bred in captivity reached 548 globally as of November, 2018, according to China’s National Forestry and Grassland Administration.
At the zoo’s David M. Rubenstein Family Giant Panda Habitat currently live three giant pandas, Mei Xiang, Tian Tian and their three-year-old son, Bei Bei.
The Smithsonian’s National Zoo is one of Washington DC’s most popular tourist desti
nations and is part of the Smithsonian Institution, a world-renowned museum and research complex.
The extending of the talks between China and the United States to resolve their trade and econo
mic frictions will hopefully give substance to the optimism expressed by both sides that they can reach a deal.
US President Donald Trump, senior US officials, and Vice-Premier Liu He, the special envoy of President Xi Jinping, who is h
eading the Chinese delegation, all expressed the belief on Friday that the two sides have made significant progress to
ward reaching a comprehensive agreement that will put an end to the current trade standoff.
It is to be expected that the discussions at this stage will be the toughest test ye
t for the two teams of negotiators, and their task is not one to be envied. However, the un
scheduled two-day extension to their discussions indicates that tangible headway is being made in their joint effo
rts to find a mutually acceptable way to resolve their differences and put an end to their quarrel.
Given what was said on Friday, it seems the talks have gone more deeply and ext
ensively into the bilateral relationship than either side initially anticipated. As US P
resident Donald Trump observed, “we’re covering things that we didn’t even know we’d be covering.”
We find it unconscionable that a Party once trusted on the economy, more than any other, is now recklessly marching the country to the cliff edge of no d
eal,” the group said. “No responsible government should knowingly and deliberately inflict the dire consequences of
such a destructive exit on individuals, communities and businesses and put at risk the prospect of ending austerity.”
The MPs also rejected what they say May has presented as a “false binary choice” be
tween a “bad deal” and a “no deal,” slamming her strategy of “running down the clock” to Brexit.
May said in a statement on Wednesday that she was “saddened” by the lawmakers’ decision to quit the party, but
was determined to deliver on Brexit, affirming that it was “the right thing for the country.”
The Independent Group was formed on Monday when seven MPs, including Chuka Umunna, Chris Leslie and Luciana Berger, resi
gned from Labour. An eighth Labour MP, Joan Ryan, joined their ranks on Tuesday evening. The group said v
ariously that they had become ashamed of the Labour party and its shift to the hard-left, denouncing opposition le
ader Jeremy Corbyn’s handling of a wave of anti-Semitism and “betrayal” on Brexit.
unity and the military over aid delivery near Gran Sabana, on the Brazil-Venezuela border, said the town’s mayor, Emilio Go
nzalez. He told CNN the military opened fire on an indigenous group trying to facilitate the passage of aid into Venezuela.
Gonzalez said soldiers shot and killed a 34-year-old indigenous Venezuelan woman and injured 17 others.
National Assembly member Americo De Grazia said on his official Twitter feed that two
people had died. The second victim was an indigenous man, according to De Grazia.
Gonzalez said indigenous guards detained 27 Venezuelan military members. Venez
uela’s Ministry of Defense told CNN it had no information on the incident.
Tensions escalate over aid
Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido, who invoked a constitutional provision last month to declare himself acting
president, condemned the incident in a tweet Friday, saying such acts by the military “will not go unpunished.”
Venezuelans desperately needed food and medical supplies. The White House urged the Venezuelan military to allow aid into the country in a statement Friday.
”The United States strongly condemns the Venezuelan military’s use of force against unarmed civilians and innocent v
olunteers on Venezuela’s border with Brazil,” White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said.
”Egregious violation of human rights by Maduro and those who are following his orders will not go unpunished. The Unite
d States strongly urges the Venezuelan military to uphold its constitutional duty to protect the citizens of V
enezuela. The Venezuelan military must allow humanitarian aid to peacefully enter the country. The world is watching.”
Aid is piling up on Venezuela’s border. Here’s why it’s not getting in
The violence came as dueling concerts kicked off on the country’s western border with Colombia, where aid deliver
ies from the United States have been languishing since Maduro blocked the Tienditas Bridge.
US sanctions have exempted medical goods. “The United States maintains broad authorizations that allow for the sale of agricultu
ral commodities, food, medicine, and medical devices by US persons or from the United States to Iran,” the spokesperson said.
Budget over emotions
A middle-aged man suffering from lung cancer writhes and squirms on his hospital b
ed as Dr. Behrouz Emami checks on him. His eyes bulge as he gasps for air through an oxygen mask.
The cancer has metastasized to the man’s brain, Emami explains. The doctor has recommended
to the patient’s family that he be sent to a private ward where he can spend his final days with his family.
But the family simply cannot afford it, says Emami. They must settle for daily visits of just one-hour a day at the government-funded ward.
”The decisions of families are not made by their emotions. They decide based on their budget,” explains Emami.
Luciana Berger, Gavin Shuker and Chuka Umunna announce their resignation from the La
bour Party at a press conference on February 18, 2019 in London, England.
Speaking to the BBC on Tuesday after Ryan’s resignation from the
party, Labour MP Chris Williamson said that he had never known Labour to be “more united
” than it was now, adding it was “regrettable that a minority of MPs” were out of step with the popular mood in the country.
Though many within the party have publicly moved to criticize Ryan’s decision
, her departure will likely fuel concerns that further resignations could follow in the weeks ahead.
In a state
ment after the initial resignations Monday, Corbyn sai
d he was “disappointed that these MPs have felt unable to continue to work together for th
e Labour policies that inspired millions at the last election and saw us increase our vote by the largest share since 1945.”
The second summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong